Nakamba hailed for playing like Kante

29 Nov, 2021 - 00:11 0 Views
Nakamba hailed for playing like Kante Marvelous Nakamba

The Herald

MARVELOUS NAKAMBA is being hailed as playing like a UEFA Champions League winner after he turned on another midfield masterclass in Aston Villa’s impressive 2-1 win over Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park on Saturday.

Villa have now won both their English Premiership matches, under new manager Steven Gerrard, after a similar victory over Brighton and Hove in their previous game.

Matt Targett and John McGinn were on target as Villa sealed a huge result against Palace.

And once again, Nakamba shone in the Villa midfield, alongside McGinn.

The Zimbabwe international, who arrived at Villa Park in 2019 for a reported fee of £11m, was praised last week for his display against Brighton and Hove Albion.

And, it was more of the same on Saturday, for Nakamba.

The 27-year-old midfielder had sparks of quality under Dean Smith.

Yet, with Gerrard at the helm, Nakamba is beginning to look like a different player entirely with some fans comparing him to Chelsea star, and recent UEFA Champions League winner, N’golo Kante.

Indeed, Nakamba’s performances have improved massively since Gerrard’s arrival.

And the midfielder was key in Villa’s huge result against Palace in the English capital.

Nakamba’s display against Palace was one of the best Villa fans have seen from the African dynamo in some time.

He was voted man-of-the-match by Villa fans with a 51.9 percent of the ballot.

Nakamba finished miles ahead of Scotland midfielder, McGinn, who came in second place, with 27.2 percent of the vote.

A total of 22 071 were cast.

As if to give the seal of approval to Nakamba, who saw little game time under Smith, Gerrard has started the midfielder in both games in his new tenure as Villa boss.

Birmingham Mail correspondent, Ashley Preece, said Gerrard described Nakamba’s performance as “massive” after he recorded a key pass, won five ground duels, completed 100% of his dribbles, four tackles and two clearances.

“A quick nod to Marvelous Nakamba here with Gerrard’s quotes on the Zimbabwean to go live later this evening. “Massive,” was Gerrard’s description of the softly-spoken midfielder.

“The manager really emphasised the “M” in massive to hammer home Nakamba’s importance from his opening two games.

“Nakamba made four big tackles, one interception, two clearances, while he was second for passes (39) behind goal-scorer Targett (44).

“Nakamba looks a real revelation being Gerrard’s “middle man” in his flat midfield three. His passing is crisp and he’s looking forwards whenever he can, knowing he’s got two No.10s and a No.9 to hit.”

Nakamba was given a man-of-the-match rating 9/10 by the Birmingham Mail.

The second highest rated player was the impressive Ashley Young, who had an 8.5/10.

Skipper Tyron Mings and goalscorers Matt Targett and John McGinn had 8/10 ratings.

“Villa’s standout performer in the first half as he won possession back at will. The Zimbabwean oozed confidence with the ball at his feet as well, sending in crisp passes to those in front of him.

“Nakamba nipped in well to thwart Benteke. Nakamba simply took the sting out of anything Palace tried to do. Superb once again — 9/10,’’ said Preece in his verdict.

Villa fans also singled out the Zimbabwean for special praise after the match.

Villa supporters took to social media in their numbers to lavish praise on the midfield star.

The Birmingham Mail reckons Nakamba’s form could save the club millions of dollars in the January window.

Villa fans had repeatedly called for a defensive midfielder to be bought in the summer and, after five losses in a row, it was beginning to look like the club had made a mistake when they chose not to do so.

But, since Gerrard’s appointment as head coach, Nakamba has been a revelation in the role.

He completed 96.4% of his passes against Brighton in the 2-0 win that marked Gerrard’s first game in charge, but his most impressive outing came at Crystal Palace yesterday.

Here’s what these Villa fans made of the Zimbabwe international’s “amazing” display in south London.

Racingfan21 — Watching Marvelous Nakamba turn in to prime Michael Essien today is a feast for the eyes. These Villa fans delighted with Nakamba.

Ben Barton — What’s Stevie done to Nakamba, looks a different player.

Dustfuch — Prime Makelele.

AvPenguiN — What a performance this is by Nakamba!

Charli C — Nakamba looking to gatecrash the Ballon d’or?

VillaViews — Nakamba’s discipline to not get sent off but to still defend our box so well was incredible.

Garin — Our midfield were unbelievable yesterday Nakamba, Ramsey and McGinn won absolutely everything in there all game.

Doing A Villa — Nakamba may actually be Marvelous, what a man.

Ross Hardy — Nakamba had been our best player today, turned into Kante last two weeks.

Lena — Nakamba should start every game. Him and McGinn are the perfect partnership.

Abdul — Nakamba has been marvelous.

Ryan — Nakamba has dropped one of the greatest performances of all time. — Sports Reporter/Birmingham Mail/Hitc

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